We need a challenge

I’m trying to find my voice here on Surviving the Cubicle and am having a bit of trouble.  I find that I talk like a bad motivational speaker sometimes.  I really don’t mean to do this.  I think I am just trying to sound professional.  I’ll keep working on it, but if any readers have any ideas to help this, let me know.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about working in an office a lot lately and one of the biggest problems I see is that there is no challenge.  When I start a new job or take on a new project the work is challenging for a few weeks, but then becomes pretty mundane.

It seems like we learn our roles and responsibilities, but then it just becomes routine.  This really annoys me.  I like to be challenged all the time.  I think we all do.

A challenge allows us to put in hard work and use our brains.  Then when we complete something we feel a sense of accomplishment.

Office life doesn’t give us that.  Well at least for most of us.  It also feels like I’m not getting better at anything.  This is frustrating.  How are we supposed to spend our whole lives working, but not improving at anything?

This adds to the feeling of “floating by” and wasting time.  I wake up every day and head in to work.  I’m not bummed about it, but I don’t feel like I have a big challenge ahead of me.  I may feel like I have a lot to do or a long meeting, but I rarely feel like I have a big important task with many obstacles to overcome.

I more or less feel like I have “stuff to do”.  Stuff to do is boring.  Accomplishments to achieve, things to produce, and problems to solve all are challenges.  Yet, these things are pretty rare.  Usually I just have stuff to do.  It all seems like I’m just passing time.

Why do offices work this way?  Am I the only one who feels like he needs a challenge?

Are there good jobs out there that provide this kind of challenge?

In the old days, people went to work to build something or create a new invention or drive a business to success.  Now everyone has very specialized tasks that they have to get done every day.  Every task is so specific that we don’t really have to think much to get them done.

We don’t have to learn new things and become better at our jobs to get through the work day, we just have to get our “stuff” done.

This all makes office work unfulfilling.  We never seem to accomplish anything.  This goes along with the feeling of a lack of reward at work.  The job itself isn’t why we work anymore.  There is no satisfaction of a job well done.

These days there is just the paycheck and another day tomorrow.  Oh and maybe retirement someday.

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  1. #1 by Daria on June 24, 2011 - 9:08 am

    Oh boy I can relate big time to this one. I’ve worked in both small family owned companies and large corporations. I found in the small companies that my job title wasn’t as restrictive. The owners liked me and saw that I could do more, so they were always asking me to help out with projects that were really beyond the scope of my title. People in a small company have to spread out tasks, so I found as an office manager that I was really HR, Finance, Administration and sometimes IT rolled into one. The downside of course being that in family owned companies you have to deal with family members bickering over how the business should be run, and the pay was less.
    In my corporate jobs that I’ve had since the job positions are very defined, and everyone is worried about stepping on other people’s toes or going outside their jurisdiction if they try to do something out of the box. If you do want to do something radical you have to get approval from a million different people first.

    So the long and short of it (in my mind) is that owning your own business or working in a small business lets you be more flexible. It also comes with more stress. 🙂
    Also you don’t come across as a bad motivational speaker to me. I think you are just sharing your observations and things you have learned.

    • #2 by survivingthecubicle on June 24, 2011 - 10:58 am

      Working in a small company definitely has it’s advantages. I miss it a lot. It’s nice to have a bit more of a say in what goes on.

      Thanks. I’ll definitely keep writing and see where this goes. Subscribe if you haven’t!

  2. #3 by ChelseaMW on June 27, 2011 - 6:45 am

    I agree with Daria, you do not sound like a bad motivational speaker. I really enjoy your writing style and your honesty and always look forward to your next post.

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